posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 08:54 PM
There are certain allies that most would agree can be trusted with some of America's more advanced weapons systems. Australia, Britain, and possibly
Japan all stand out. I would be more wary of selling to nations which might funnel it to rivals- France and Germany come to mind in that catagory, as
do non-aligned nations such as India.
The problem is that most nations can't even afford the hardware we produce in sufficient quantity.
What I wonder is this: Would the cost of subsidizing a small discount on some of our hardware outweight the cost of maintaining forces abroad to
protect our allies, and allow us to have a few extra units at our disposal if we should enter a major conflict with the help of our allies.
A few examples:
The F/A-22 is perhaps the most lethal combat aircraft in the world today. Its presence in a nations arsenal could make potential aggressors think
twice, and could make an early difference in conflicts America would otherwise have to involve itself in. In a major conflict it would be a precious
assett, but we can only afford so many. The unit cost is $256 million if we procure 279 of the aircraft, and the recent discussion of only buying 180,
with an option for more later, drives that further up.
Should we be helping our allies afford this equipment in small numbers to make them more potent in their own spheres of influence, and when they must
Personally I'd be thrilled to see Japan pick up a few of these for self defense purposes, so that we would not have to fret so much about tensions
between them and China causing us to have to go to war some day in the future.
Other equipment I'd like to see us share with worthy allies who may need it include:
Virgina class subs: Definately a boon for the Australians considering where their defense interests lie. South Korea could also use these to build a
capability for intelligence gathering and special ops against the North- they need the capability to beat the North at their own game when it comes to
infiltration and sabotage if a war should break out.
OICW (SABR) talk about an expensive piece of equipment. We need to bring the unit cost on this baby down as far as possible if we're really going to
go with it. The target cost is $10,000! It's just a matter of engineering- there isn't much in the way of super-sensitive technology on this thing,
and it is supposed to be VERY VERY effective. Even one of these in an infantry squad would greatly increase the squads effectiveness in urban
situations. I think we need to push these on every member of NATO, and also on allies which may one day have to go at it with China (because it's
range of 1km would be a huge advantage to defense in the open against an enemy which can bring severe numbers).
So what say you? Who can America trust with its technology, and is it worthwhile enough to offer them incentives to buy it so that our own forces are
under less demand?